As you have gone through your BlackBerry Messenger contacts, you may have noticed that their avatars have become alive. I’m not talking about something colorful, wild or risqué, I mean truly animated. If you didn’t know before, your BlackBerry already has a number of animated emoticons you can use as your BlackBerry Messenger Avatar. You may have noticed a few of your contacts on BBM have some unique avatars. I’ve seen them wave at me, laugh or dance.
If I took a look at Adam’s avatar, that iconic fist of his almost comes flying towards you (look out!). So much can be said with just an image; as the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. With the Avatar Animator application, you go beyond what your BlackBerry can offer. You can create your own animations to display as your avatar. Now instead of setting your status as busy, you can set an animation with you flipping everyone off (because that’s so much more professional). Let’s check out how easy it is to do.
As you would have guessed, you can use the application to help you display something in your BlackBerry profile rather than a plain old static image. In other words, the name Avatar Animator says it all. It’s as simple as its own menu layout. As you open the menu, you will see five options to choose from; Record Animation, Manually Build Avatar, Set BBM Avatar, Share with friends (because it’s always nice to share) and Exit Application. I like how straight and to the point the application is, everything is in a single list. The application cannot be accessed from BlackBerry Messenger, but you can apply created animations when editing your profile.
Getting Started / Setup
Being an application made to create an animated BlackBerry Messenger avatar, one would think that you have to permit Avatar Animator access to BlackBerry Messenger. Under the settings menu, switch the Connect to BBM option to ‘Connected’. This will prompt the application to restart prior to you being able to create your fun, witty animated avatars. As mentioned earlier, the application includes brief instructions with how to apply your creations to BlackBerry Messenger. As it states; “your avatar must be changed directly in BBM to take advantage of animations. Open BBM and choose the desired avatar”.
Automatically optimizes animation for use in BBM
Create an avatar from video camera
Build an avatar by taking photos
Preview avatars before saving
Edit frames to customize your avatar
Change your animations speed
Now, Avatar Animator gives you two different ways to make an animation. The center of the screen is what’s used when frames are created. Based on the permission prompts that appear, it seems as though the application takes screenshots of the camera view finder rather than an image. When you select an automatic recording, the application will take 10 screenshots. Editing is extremely simple with the only option available is to delete unwanted frames. Under the settings menu, you can choose to maximize the quality as well as increase/decrease the speed of the animation. A preview popup option is included so you can see the current project prior to finalizing it.
If you were to take the manual build approach, you only have to take an extra step…or ten. In this mode, you can choose to take up to 10 images. In the image capturing screen, you will see a countdown timer in the bottom left corner with it dropping with each image taken. Now you don’t have to use them all up, there is a ‘done’ option that ends the image capturing session.
If you like what you see, and want to tell others about it, Avatar Animator includes a Share with Friends link. A popup will display all of your BBM contacts. All that you have to do is select with contact(s) to invite and send. In theory this should work quickly, but I’ve tried sending invites to a few contacts with the message reaching them after 10 minutes.